Well where do I start; at the beginning I suppose would be a good point.
So, in May 2018, I went to the doctors as I’d found a lump, which he didn’t seem to bothered about but, to be on the safe side, he decided to send me for an ultrasound. I had it on 17th June 2019, and was told to phone up the next day for the results, I guess that should have set alarm bells ringing. It was Wednesday when I finally managed to telephoned my Doctor, to be told I had a large mass on my kidney and an appointment was made for the next day for me to see the urologist at the local hospital.
My first question was; “how do I tell my wife?.” It took me until 9:00pm that night to tell her which resulted in neither of us getting much sleep.
The next day was a bit of a blur until the appointment with the urologist at 3:00pm. We were told that the mass was almost certain to be cancerous and was between 7/8cm. The good news was that it looked like it was contained within the kidney but, I needed an urgent scan. I had the scan on the 29th June (which was actually the day we should have gone on holiday!) and was back for the results the following week. The scan showed an 8cm tumour and the treatment was a full nephrectomy, which was booked for Thursday 9th August.
The operation date came and to be honest, there’s not a great deal I remember about the day, though I’m sure it was a lot harder for my wife.
I’ve got to admit after I was moved from Intensive Care, the aftercare I received was totally shocking and I was so glad when I finally went home on the Sunday afternoon. I saw the urologist for my results and was basically told they had got it all out and to go off and enjoy my life. My wife asked for the histology report and that really wasn’t the case as it was a T3a (had just started to invade the perirenal fat) so I would be getting 6 monthly scans for the first 2 years and then yearly after that. I won’t bore you with the details of the scans, but needless to say the NHS have let me down and I am now under the excellent care of the Spires Little Aston hospital and have recently had my 2nd scan and at this moment in time, I am all clear. My wife is on the Kidney Cancer UK Facebook page, but at the moment that’s not my thing as we all have our own different ways of coping with things.
So how and why did I enter the ballot for the charity place allocated to Kidney Cancer UK for the London Marathon in 2020. Honestly, I don’t like running and the only running I’ve done is to support my wife. My daughter entered the ballot and after an evening which contained large amounts of alcohol, I said I would also enter, especially as my wife said I didn’t stand any chance of getting the place! A few days later I entered and gave it no more thought. You can imagine the shock when I was told the place was mine. Straight away hotel rooms were booked, and I’ll have a large crowd of supporters cheering me on my way on the 26th April 2020.
For me it isn’t about the running, as I know a lot of people enter the ballot for charity places just to run London. For me it’s all about raising awareness of the charity and also kidney cancer as its very personal to me.
I’ve just returned from a 2-week holiday so now the training really does start. I’ve joined a local running club (my wife’s over the moon as she’s a member and has been bugging me for ages to join) and am looking forward to training with them.
I’m not a man of many words or emotions but this is undoubtedly going to be my biggest challenge ever and I will be giving it my all…and more. Everyone asks me “what time I want run it in” but I don’t have a target in mind, I just want to get round and put Kidney Cancer UK on the map and make everyone proud, especially as cases of kidney cancer seem to be on the up so more awareness is needed.